THE Indian Foreign Office has summoned the Australian High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese, over racist emails circulated by Victorian police officers.
It was reported yesterday that a racist email showing the electrocution of an Indian man was circulated among members of the Victoria Police force, and that police officers had crudely suggested the action would “fix” Melbourne’s Indian student problem.
The email scandal has dealt a fresh blow to relations between Delhi and Canberra, which were damaged last year by a spate of attacks on Indian students.
Top Indian diplomats summoned Mr Varghese and said that “such an entrenched bias among sections of law enforcers towards the Indian community is a matter of serious concern”, Fairfax Newspapers report today.
A strongly worded statement issued by Delhi’s external affairs ministry underscored how seriously the Indian government has taken the issue.
“Such behaviour and attitudes had no place in any society,” the statement said.
“It was hoped that the Australian authorities would take necessary and effective measures to address concerns regarding the safety of all people of Indian origin in Australia.”
Victoria Police said on Saturday it would resume disciplinary hearings this week into the circulation of pornographic and racist emails within the force.
So far, four officers have been sacked, one demoted, and another five fined up to $3000 and placed on 12 month good behaviour bonds for taking part in the circulation of the unsavoury material.
Nine officers will front the disciplinary panel on October 12 and October 15, with six to be heard the following week.
Two officers quit rather than face the secret hearings.
In March, Healesville Sergeant Tony Vangorp resigned and took his own life after being involved in the investigation.